Rookie Diary-TE Dauntae' Finger

August 10 – Buccaneer Magazine had a chance to talk with rookie TE Dauntae' Finger for the first time since he was released from St. Joseph's Hospital. Find out exactly what happened to Finger on the day he was brought to the hospital, how much he will be featured in the Bucs' passing game and much more in this installment of Buccaneer Magazine's Rookie Diary.

1) CAN YOU LEAD US THROUGH WHAT HAPPENED ON THE DAY YOU WERE BROUGHT TO THE HOSPITAL?

I was only out practicing for about 25-30 minutes. I was fine, but all of the sudden, my heart started racing and I tried to take deep breathes. I didn't feel right. I stopped for a little bit and I went and started going again, ran a couple of routes, and it started doing it again. Then I started getting dizzy and lightheaded. I couldn't go any more. So, they took me into the hospital. It was heat exhaustion I think within the whole thing, I panicked a little bit and got scared. It was a scary thing, but I got through it.

2) HOW MUCH ARE YOU GOING TO BE FEATURED AS FAR AS A RECEIVING TIGHT END?

There's no telling. Right now, I want to be featured, but first and foremost, I am focused in on just trying to make this team. But as soon as that happens, what happens, happens. I know they drafted me because they needed a blocking tight end. I'm a blocking tight end, but I can catch the ball as well. You know, I love catching the ball. I started off playing football because of that and I was a wide receiver back in the day. Hopefully, if things work out, I will get more reps in practice and in games and keep getting the ball. I think things will work out for me.

3) DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE A YOUTH FOOTBALL PLAYER THAT IS TRYING TO MAKE IT INTO THE NFL?

I'll tell you what. Just to keep your head up. Work hard, stay in school, do your homework and get in the weight room. Eat healthy, lift weights and have fun. The main thing is to get out there and have fun. If you have fun, everything will take care of itself.

4) HOW COMFORTABLE ARE YOU WITH PLAYING THE FULLBACK POSTION SINCE COACH DUNGY HAS MENTIONED THAT ALL OF THE TIGHT ENDS WILL BE PLAYING AT THAT POSITION UNTIL THE FULLBACKS GET HEALTHY?

We have kind of done some stuff where a few of the tight ends worked in the fullback. In the meetings, we went over the fullback stuff. Actually, I was supposed to take a rep at fullback, but we cut practice short (against the Dolphins on Friday). So, I didn't get my rep, but maybe tomorrow. I did a little bit of fullback in my earlier school days. I played around with it for about 3-4 weeks. I'm not real familiar with it, but if they want me to go back there, I will do whatever. If they want me to do that, I have to get comfortable with it. The fullback is a hard thing. At tight end, you can line up on the line of scrimmage on block from there, but at fullback, you have run five yards to the line of scrimmage before you can even tough anybody. If they ask me to do it, I'll do it and give it my best.


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